Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: The role of age and macroeconomic conditions
by Lim, So Yeong, Ph.D., Purdue University, 2011, 141; 3481080
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation investigates Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participation pattern highlighting the effects of age, cohort and macroeconomy in SNAP participation.

The earlier portion of this research is dedicated to a description of the SNAP and other nutrition assistance programs. The chapter three addresses SNAP participation rates of birth cohorts over time with particular emphasis on age and cohort effects in order to better understand low SNAP participation among eligible elderly people. Using data drawn from the Current Population Survey March Supplements from 1980 to 2010, cohort participation rates were calculated and, thereby, decomposed by age, cohort and period effects. Controlling for cohort and period effects, the estimates of age effects indicate that aging is negatively associated with SNAP participation. Moreover, holding age constant, younger generations are less likely to depend on the SNAP than their parents. Combined with negative age effects, the estimated cohort effects imply that low participation of today's elderly people is attributable to the age effects rather than generational differences in SNAP participation. Since younger generations have lower propensities to participate in the SNAP, participation rates may decrease further from the current level. However, the demand for SNAP benefits among the elderly still remains unclear because of the growing elderly population.

In chapter four, transitions into and out of the SNAP were examined with particular focus on the macroeconomic impact differing by age. Provided that labor market conditions differentially affect the employment opportunities across age groups, this research aims to answer what would happen to age differences in SNAP participation if an economic downturn occurs. This study estimates the probability of entry into the SNAP and continuation of SNAP participation. Probit models were estimated using the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) 2004 panel. The estimation results indicate that older people are less likely to move into the SNAP but more likely to stay longer on the SNAP than younger people. Entry into the SNAP and continuation of SNAP participation increases during recessions and, conversely, they decrease during economic booms. Furthermore, the economic downturn leads to a different impact on entry and continuation of SNAP participation across age groups. The estimates indicate that people aged 20 to 39 increase the probability of entry at a higher rate compared to older people when the unemployment rate increases. On the contrary, people aged 40 to 59 extend their SNAP receipt at a higher rate in response to economic recessions than people aged 20 to 39.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Chen, Susan E., Waldorf, Brigitte S.
Commitee: Binkley, James, Mobley, Amy R., Mumford, Kevin J.
School: Purdue University
Department: Agricultural Economics
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 73/02, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Agricultural economics, Nutrition, Public policy
Keywords: Age, Cohort, Macroeconomy, Nutrition assistance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
Publication Number: 3481080
ISBN: 9781124984278